Approach to Cases
Minimizing Discovery, Lowering Case Costs and Getting to Results Faster for the Client
The Burk Law Firm, P.C. as a business and commercial trial firm takes a minimalist approach to discovery and cost management in lawsuits. Whether the Firm handles the case on an hourly fee basis, a hybrid basis (substantially reduced hourly with a back end percentage interest), a full contingent fee arrangement, or on a flat fee basis, our approach is to do only the discovery that is critical to preparing the case for trial which is also the best way to place the case in a the best posture for pretrial settlement. As trial lawyers whose success rate at trial and in settlements is historically extraordinary, we have learned the means to concisely and efficiently extract the best evidence possible at the most economical rate under the facts and circumstances.
Occasionally we have opposing counsel on the opposite side of a case who are not accomplished trial lawyers like the lawyers in our Firm but who are instead simply “litigators” who make all of their money off of discovery and settle at the end of discovery without any ultimate intention of trying the case. While our Firm can control costs on our side of the lawsuit, we have to respond to what is filed by the other side and therefore the minimalist approach may occasionally be frustrated by having counsel on the other side of a case who are improperly abusing discovery and not representing their clients’ interests properly. While we make every effort to enlist the Court’s help in curbing such discovery abuse, in Court’s where the judges are elected and where their campaigns are funded by the attorneys who practice before them, the Court is not always willing to curb such discovery abuse and therefore the Firm’s minimalist approach is not as successful. Fortunately, most Court’s will stop such discovery abuse and therefore in most cases the Firm’s minimalist approach to discovery works extremely well for the client and for the efficient, fast and successful outcome of the case.
The minimalist approach the Burk Law Firm pursues is, more specifically, manifested as follows. We don’t need to and therefore we do not depose every possible witness in the case. Instead we focus our efforts on deposing only those witnesses whose testimony is necessary to win for the client at trial. Of the multiple paper discovery vehicles the rules allow, we have found that in many cases only certain of them consistently yield useful results (a particular case may vary the general rule just stated) and therefore those few consistently useful paper discovery vehicles are the means typically used to obtain the most efficient paper discovery possible. Using this approach is in most cases superior. The minimalist approach usually causes the case to progress faster to trial and gets to pretrial settlement faster if the case can settle.
We recommend and strongly encourage mediation very early in cases to enhance the possibility of early settlement. In addition to possibly settling the case early for the client, early mediation tends to flush out early on in the case the ultimate trial positions of the opposing client and counsel and therefore enhances the strategic advantage for our client. Moreover, seeking early mediation as our Firm regularly does allows our clients to assess early the main strengths and weaknesses of their own case thereby allowing them to make better and earlier decisions about effective trial and settlement strategies.